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On the Couch with Michael Scherger

"How we know we're doing well in the area of intelligence reporting"

As we (Department of Homeland Security DHS) are an intelligence organization that is primarily concerned with activity that potentially occurs within the United States, our law enforcement at the state and local level have a primary role in acting on information we produce. This creates a law enforcement ‘universe’ that is so vast as to be uncountable. Therefore we run into the problem of cause and effect with the finished intelligence we produce. So in the end, we use metrics on standards compliance, internal evaluation, surveys of customers that ask the questions regarding utility, validity, satisfaction, etc.

The whole is getting a strategic plan written and published, and then implementing it. The implementation part is something we see as a stumbling block for many government entities. We have developed a framework built to address the work stated in the strategic plan; how to do it, how we measure if it’s done well, and how we continuously improve upon what we do," Michael states.

This On the Couch event is proudly supported by:


Michael Scherger is the current Performance Improvement Officer for the US Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis. He also serves as the Chief for Performance Management and Evaluation. In this role, Mr. Scherger leads the organisation in external performance measures reported to the US Congress, and as part of the Executive Branch yearly reporting on performance. He also leads the efforts within the organisation on accountability to the I&A Strategic Plan with the institution of a monitoring framework to guide the work performed and overcome barriers to performance as they are identified.

Mr. Scherger is a US Department of Homeland Security Senior Fellow. His previous work includes leading national training programs for US Customs and Border Protection, and multiple positions with the United States Peace Corps, as an expert consultant to the Chief Financial Officer and Programming and Training Advisor working in Washington DC, as well as an Associate Director internationally in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Romania, and Ukraine. Mr. Scherger also served in the United States Army. Mr. Scherger holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California, Riverside, and an MPA from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He currently lives in Washington DC with his wife and three children.


Bronte Koop, Principal Consultant, Evaluation Strategy with Public Sector Management Division, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Bronte Koop is currently working on improving the understanding and use of evaluation across the public sector and within the High Performance Framework.

He was convenor for the Australasian Evaluation Society 2012 International Conference held at the Adelaide Convention Centre last week, in which 450 delegates met to discuss and present on the conference theme of Evaluation in a Changing World.

Bronte spent several years leading evaluation strategy in the Department of Education and Child Development, where he implemented performance improvement strategies such as progress monitoring, and an evaluation capacity building strategy, which included consulting services, training and professional development and various resources to support program management and oversight.

Bronte has held policy and project positions in Education and Child Development, working closely with Ministers and executives following a 20 year career in education and leadership roles in SA government schools.



Terry F. Buss, PhD, is Executive Director and Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, in Adelaide, Australia. Buss earned his doctorate in political science and mathematics at Ohio State University. Over the past 30 years, Buss has built his career in both academe and government. In his immediate past position, he directed the program in International, Security and Defense Studies at the National Academy of Public Administration for five years. From 2000 to 2003, Buss served as dean of the School of Policy and Management at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami.

In 2000, Buss worked as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC. From 1997 to 2000, Buss chaired the Department of Public Management in the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University in Boston. While on leave from Suffolk, Buss spent one year at the World Bank as a senior strategy advisor to the vice president for training and technical assistance and as the secretariat for the development of the World Bank's Global Distance Learning Network (GDLN). From 1987 to 1997, Buss was director of the Ph.D. program at and chair of the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies at the University of Akron in Ohio and also Director of Research at the St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center/Northeast Ohio College of Medicine. During this period, Buss, while on leave from Akron, directed the U.S. Information Agency technical assistance program in Hungary for three years immediately following the fall of communism in Eastern Europe; he replicated this program in Russia from 1993 to 1996. In addition, he worked on leave with the Council of Governors Policy Advisors, an affiliate of the National Governors Association as a senior advisor. He did so as an unprecedented two-time Fulbright Scholar winner in Hungary, working with the Minister of the Interior and Budapest University of Economic Science. He also received two fellowships with the Congressional Research Service, where he authored policy studies mandated by Congress.

Buss has published 12 books and nearly 340 professional articles on a variety of policy issues. Buss has won numerous awards for research and public service, among them, Most Honored Professor of the Russian Federation. Over the years, Buss has worked overseas on major projects in England, Wales, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Ghana, Haiti, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Australia. He also directed projects in Iraq, South Africa and Botswana from the United States.